Feds Crack Down on California Pot Operations

Raids stepped up on medicinal marijuana dispensaries considered legal by the state
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2007 12:24 AM CDT
This undated photo released by the Fayette County Sheriff's Department shows marijuana plants discovered growing in a home in Newton County, Ga.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is stepping up raids on California's medicinal marijuana distributors, confiscating drugs and arresting vendors at ten Los Angeles operations last month alone, Reuters reports. California legalized medicinal marijuana use more than ten years ago, but possession of the drug violates federal law. Federal officials argue that a legal alternative, a pill called Marinol, works as well, but users disagree.

Marijuana dispensaries defend their screening processes, noting that a doctor's prescription is necessary to legally purchase marijuana in the state. An estimated 200,000 Californians use medicinal marijuana. If the DEA shuts down distributors, "people would just have to go back to the street," said one pot vendor.